Giuseppe Blasi

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Neurobiological factors contributing to violence in humans remain poorly understood. One approach to this question is examining allelic variation in the X-linked monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene, previously associated with impulsive aggression in animals and humans. Here, we have studied the impact of a common functional polymorphism in MAOA on brain(More)
Functional polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and the dopamine transporter (DAT) genes modulate dopamine inactivation, which is crucial for determining neuronal signal-to-noise ratios in prefrontal cortex during working memory. We show that the COMT Met158 allele and the DAT 3' variable number of tandem repeat 10-repeat allele are(More)
The cingulate cortex is richly innervated by dopaminergic projections and plays a critical role in attentional control (AC). Evidence indicates that dopamine enhances the neurophysiological signal-to-noise ratio and that dopaminergic tone in the frontal cortex is critically dependent on catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). A functional polymorphism(More)
Subcortical dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) signaling is implicated in cognitive processes and brain disorders, but the effect of DRD2 variants remains ambiguous. We measured allelic mRNA expression in postmortem human striatum and prefrontal cortex and then performed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) scans of the DRD2 locus. A previously uncharacterized(More)
Response inhibition and interference monitoring and suppression are two important aspects of cognitive control. Previous functional imaging studies have suggested a common network of brain regions underlying these cognitive processes; the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), the dorsal cingulate (dACC), and(More)
BACKGROUND In the brain, processing of fearful stimuli engages the amygdala, and the variability of its activity is associated with genetic factors as well as with emotional salience. The objective of this study was to explore the relevance of personality style for variability of amygdala response. METHODS We studied two groups (n=14 in each group) of(More)
The "default-mode" network is an ensemble of cortical regions, which are typically deactivated during demanding cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. Using functional connectivity, this network can be conceptualized and studied as a "stand-alone" function or system. Regardless of the task, independent component analysis(More)
BACKGROUND Studies in humans and in animals have demonstrated that a network of brain regions is involved in performance of declarative and recognition memory tasks. This network includes the hippocampal formation (HF) as well as the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). Studies in animals have suggested that the relationship between these brain regions(More)
OBJECTIVE Deficits in working memory and in prefrontal cortical physiology are important outcome measures in schizophrenia, and both have been associated with dopamine dysregulation and with a functional polymorphism (Val(108/158)Met) in the catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene that affects dopamine inactivation in the prefrontal cortex. The purpose of(More)
Dopamine D2 receptor signalling is strongly implicated in the aetiology of schizophrenia. We have recently characterized the function of three DRD2 SNPs: rs12364283 in the promoter affecting total D2 mRNA expression; rs2283265 and rs1076560, respectively in introns 5 and 6, shifting mRNA splicing to two functionally distinct isoforms, the short form of D2(More)